Need advice for helping eggs...twins.


10 Years
Feb 8, 2009
Northern, Illinois
I have a twin egg that is about to hatch any day now. I didn't expect it to live this long, but they are surviving right along with the others. Early this morning I noticed that most of the other ducks have their beaks up against the air cell trying to poke through. They even appear to be breathing. I don't think they're actually internally pipped yet, but getting close. With the twin egg there is no sign of a beak near the air cell. Ill check again in a little while.

I'm not against helping the twins get out, but I want to make sure I do it 100% right. Can everyone that has had a twin egg give me some tips, and advice? When should I start helping? In the past I watched a few videos of a BYC member helping her twins out, and they actually survived. The egg wasn't pipped yet but she opened the egg herself. When do you know its the right time to help them? As the other eggs are hatching? I don't want it to be too soon, or too late.

I know all the basics of helping the babies out, but I want to hear them again to double check. You can never be too sure. I know some people are against helping. So please, all advice on helping my twins out in case they need it!
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I just hatched twin chicks, and it didn't turn out well. Because they were so tightly packed into the shell, only one had room to pip. It wasn't making much progress, so I helped it out of the shell. That's when I found the second one, which had suffocated. That was probably a good thing, because its legs and feet were deformed from being mushed by the larger chick.

I ended up having to put the survivor down too. Its leg was bent backward, and nothing we did could straighten it out.

Never had twins before, and I hope I don't have them again.

Kathy in Bellville TX
Hi am a bit stupid here but how do you now your chicks had their beaks up to the air cell to pip the shell from inside? Is there a way of checking at such a late stage?
We had a double yolked duck egg recently that we tried to hatch. It did well until the end. We tried to help knowing there was not enough room for both of them. When it was time we put a hole in both sides of egg to hopefully allow both of them air. We had to go out for most of the day, so couldn't watch the progress. They unfortunately didn't make it. DH saw both of them and they were fully formed, but they didn't absorb all of their yolk. We didn't expect them to hatch, but it was disappointing anyway as they made it as far as they did. I wish you better luck.
Hi am a bit stupid here but how do you now your chicks had their beaks up to the air cell to pip the shell from inside? Is there a way of checking at such a late stage?

Broody_hen, you can candle the egg and see the beak or bill actually pushing up into the aircell space. You can not make out any details of the body, it just looks dark. But you can still see some movement and the shape of the beak pushing on the membrane and in the aircell space. Its really awesome to see. And also very exciting because you know the little one will be out of the egg soon!
Twins are always going to be mostly unsuccessful. Even with help. That there are documented successes means it can happen rarely that both are well formed and survive but that's generally not the case.

Which is why for the longest time, no one thought it possible at all.

You can but try. So far of five twin eggs, I haven't had any make it. I have the sixth double yolk egg in now.

I wish you luck. I'd probably try to find their bills once the others are pipping and get them air and then work from there.
Thanks everyone! I don't expect them to live either. I know exactly what you mean Froggie71 when you say you don't expect them to live, yet disappointed when they do die. With my last hatch 9 out of 9 pipped, and 8 out of 9 hatched. The one pipped and died the next day. It was so sad because it had come so far!

I never really thought about the abnormalities they might have. I would never be able to put down an animal, no matter how much it was suffering so now I'm scared to even see them at all!

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